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KDE

KDE 4.5 Released 302

Posted by Soulskill
from the newer-and-shinier dept.
An anonymous reader writes "KDE 4.5.0 has been released to the world. See the release announcement for details. Highlights include a Webkit browser rendering option for Konqueror, a new caching mechanism for a faster experience and a re-worked notification system. Another new feature is Perl bindings, in addition to Python, Ruby and JavaScript support. The Phonon multimedia library now integrates with PulseAudio. See this interview with KDE developer and spokesperson Sebastian Kugler on how KDE can continue to be innovative in the KDE4 age. Packages should be available for most Linux distributions in the coming days. More than 16000 bug fixes were committed since 4.4."
Science

First Membrane Controlled By Light Developed 33

Posted by timothy
from the my-eyelid-aside dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt: "A new membrane developed at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics blocks gas from flowing through it when one color of light is shined on its surface, and permits gas to flow through when another color of light is used. It is the first time that scientists have developed a membrane that can be controlled in this way by light."
Google

Google-Backed Wind-Powered Car Goes Faster Than the Wind 393

Posted by timothy
from the duh-it's-pushed-by-the-google dept.
sterlingda writes "A wind-powered car has been clocked in the US traveling downwind 2.85 times faster than the 13.5 mph wind. The definitive research by Rick Cavallaro of FasterThanTheWind.org is being funded by Google and Joby Energy. The run should now settle the DWFTTW (downwind faster than the wind) debate that has been raging for some time on the Internet about whether or not such a feat was possible."
Role Playing (Games)

ArenaNet's MMO Design Manifesto 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-the-crazy-person-kind dept.
An anonymous reader writes "ArenaNet studio head Mike O'Brien has posted his vision for a new type of MMORPG, which they used in developing Guild Wars 2. Quoting: 'MMOs are social games. So why do they sometimes seem to work so hard to punish you for playing with other players? If I'm out hunting and another player walks by, shouldn't I welcome his help, rather than worrying that he's going to steal my kills or consume all the mobs I wanted to kill? ... [In Guild Wars 2], when someone kills a monster, not just that player's party but everyone who was seriously involved in the fight gets 100% of the XP and loot for the kill. When an event is happening in the world – when the bandits are terrorizing a village – everyone in the area has the same motivation, and when the event ends, everyone gets rewarded.'"
PC Games (Games)

Game Devs On the Future of PC Gaming 375

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-ubisoft-all-the-time dept.
Shacknews wraps up a developer panel at PAX East discussing the future of gaming on the PC. They cover topics including DRM, digital download platforms and cloud-based gaming services. "Joe Kreiner of Terminal Reality: 'If you look at it from a giant publisher perspective, then the numbers on the PC just really don't make financial sense for you to bother with it. But if you start out with the mindset — you know, you're targeting that group, you make a niched product that's going [to] do well, if you look at a lot of the titles on Steam, Torchlight's a really good example — as long as you know that's your audience to begin with, and you make something inside of a budget that you know you're going to be selling those kinds of numbers, you can be very successful. I think it just takes a targeted developer. ... There is no [PC] platform, really. It's just a mish-mosh of hardware, an operating system that kind of supports games. The problem with that platform is, there's no standards and piracy is rampant, so why would we want to make a video game for that platform unless you had some sort of draconian DRM thing to keep it from being stolen?"

Comment: Re:There's C then there's C written by newbies (Score 1) 407

by squidgit (#31477610) Attached to: Good Language Choice For School Programming Test?
By "memory access" I mean pointers, buffers etc. You can't code in C and get away from these and they are a (the?) common source of newbie programming bugs in C code. Hells, at least Java, Ada etc have the good sense (and, yes, runtime overhead) of bitching at you when you overstep your bounds.

Comment: Re:There's C then there's C written by newbies (Score 1) 407

by squidgit (#31477140) Attached to: Good Language Choice For School Programming Test?
Well that's true up to the point that your careless memory leaks cause you to hit some threshold and are terminated! Really, I've had this happen to me in a programming contest, it sucks :-) Maybe of more interest is the memory access part of my post - who hasn't had their C SIGSEGV'd for invalid pointer and/or buffer overrun offences? btw I agree wrt algorithmic complexity but then I've never coded in a contest with a CPU time bound like this one apparently has..

Comment: There's C then there's C written by newbies (Score 2, Informative) 407

by squidgit (#31476682) Attached to: Good Language Choice For School Programming Test?
OK C could be a computationally fast solution, but I'd go for Python anyway. Why? Mainly this: How many new C programmers (i.e. less than 1 or 2 years experience) can write programs without obscure memory leak/access problems? How much time have slashdotters wasted looking for elusive segfaults in C code? I know I've wasted hours, days, chasing buffer overruns in school assignments. Or worse are the ones you don't see; they only trigger on the examiner's machine..
Mozilla

Firefox 3.7 Dropped In Favor of Feature Updates 252

Posted by kdawson
from the lessons-from-the-trenches dept.
Barence sends in a report from pcpro.co.uk that says "Under its original plans, Mozilla would roll out Firefox 3.6 and 3.7 over the course of 2009, each bringing minor improvements to the browser. However, a steady stream of delays to Firefox 3.6 has rendered that goal unobtainable, forcing Mozilla to rethink its release. As a result, Firefox 3.7 has been dropped and will be replaced with feature updates for Firefox 3.6 that will be rolled out with security updates. This should free up the team to work on the next major release, Firefox 4, slated for the last quarter of 2010, which is expected to follow the same development process." Updated 20100116 00:54 GMT by timothy: Alexander Limi, from Firefox User Experience, says that the PC Pro article linked above misinterprets the situation, and that 3.7 is still on the roadmap before 4.0. The confusion stems from a schedule realignment: the out-of-process plugins feature, originally slated to land in 3.7, will instead ship as a minor update in Firefox's 3.6 series. According to Limi, CNET gets it right."
Space

Astronomers Discover 33 Pairs of Waltzing Black Holes 101

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the teach-them-to-foxtrot dept.
Astronomers from UC Berkeley have identified 33 pairs of waltzing black holes, closing the gap somewhat between the observed population of super-massive black hole pairs and what had been predicted by theory. "Astronomical observations have shown that 1) nearly every galaxy has a central super-massive black hole (with a mass of a million to a billion times the mass of the Sun), and 2) galaxies commonly collide and merge to form new, more massive galaxies. As a consequence of these two observations, a merger between two galaxies should bring two super-massive black holes to the new, more massive galaxy formed from the merger. The two black holes gradually in-spiral toward the center of this galaxy, engaging in a gravitational tug-of-war with the surrounding stars. The result is a black hole dance, choreographed by Newton himself. Such a dance is expected to occur in our own Milky Way Galaxy in about 3 billion years, when it collides with the Andromeda Galaxy."

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